I officially have 1 year, 3 months, and 18 days left until I turn 30.
But, to be completely honest, I may as well already be there…
I mean, my idea of a good night nowadays is to be in bed by 10pm with a good book. And I can’t even remember the last time I was in a club!
I may as well be sat on my porch moaning about “the good old days”.
Nevertheless, with the clock ticking, I figured now would be a good time to hit pause, assess where I’m at, and fumble together a “30 before 30 bucket list” of things I’m desperate to do before the big three-oh milestone eventually comes around.
Maybe it’ll give you guys some ideas for things to do before 30 too?
With nothing else for it, then, here’s my 30 things to do before 30 checklist.
[First written in July 2021 and last updated in September 2022 – i.e. a month before my 30th!]
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My 30 Things to Do Before 30 Ideas
I’ve definitely got my work cut out if I’m going to get all of these 30 before 30 ideas done in the next 15 months.
What is it they say, though? Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land among stars?
…Something like that.
Anyway, I’ll try my best to tick as many of these things to do before 30 off my list as possible! With any luck, they’ll provide other soon-to-be-30-year-olds with some ideas on what to aim for too.
1. Turn this blog into a passive living!
I’ve been focused on growing this blog for about 2 years now. The goal?
Partly to have a space to write.
Partly to inspire people to travel, have adventures, and live their best possible life.
And partly to earn some passive income from it on the side!
It’s going okay. But there’s still a long way to go! So, the number 1 priority on my 30 before 30 bucket list is to take this blog to where I’d like it to go.
Update: It’s now September 2022 and I’ve made decent progress here. I’m still not quite at my goal, but I could, in theory, now live off the passive income from this blog.
2. Get published on a big fancy publication
I work as a copywriter alongside the stuff I’m doing on the blog.
And it’s amazing.
However, I’d also like to step things up a notch, bolster my writing CV, and start attracting more freelance clients (more on this next).
As a result, getting published in a major publication has become a significant goal of mine recently!
It’d be really cool to make it happen before I’m 30.
Update: I’m still working on this one!
3. Grow my freelance writing business
I do most of my paid writing for a US-based content marketing agency.
It’s convenient, steady, reliable work that’s been fuelling my life on the road for the last few years.
But, in all honesty, the pay could be better.
Likewise, I’ve basically got all my eggs in one basket with them, so I’d be a bit stuffed if the job suddenly disappeared!
For both these reasons, it makes sense in my head to branch out, diversify the old income streams and look for some more freelance clients. I’d be 100% stoked if I could sort this side of things out in the next 15 months or so!
Update: I’ve made progress here and have a handful of awesome freelance clients, but I’d still like to build up this area of my income!
4. Go on a big solo adventure
You know, like the life-changing ones you hear about on the Rich Roll podcast all the time! Where people go on these long, unbelievable journeys full of challenge and adversity…and then write a book about it.
It may just be my ego telling me to prove myself somehow, but I love the idea of doing something similar!
Maybe a thru-hike like the PCT? Running a thru-hike like the PCT? Cycling around the world? Kayaking around the UK?
…I’m not sure what I’d do.
And whether it’ll happen before I’m 30 is anyone’s guess.
I, for one, would say it’s highly unlikely! But who knows? Even if I could just come up with the final idea before reaching my 4th decade, it’d be a start.
Update: Having just finish a 1000 mile run across the UK, I think I can tick this one off.
5. Learn to ride a motorbike
This particular 30 before 30 bucket list is also one of my overall dreams for life!
I just love the idea of having one of those old-school motorbikes (like the military bikes from way back in the day, with the big headlight on the front) and hitting the open road on it whenever I got the chance.
But I’m also a tad scared of being bad at it.
The result? I’ve been putting this goal off for years.
It might sound silly, but getting it done before 30 would feel like an achievement!
Update: I 100% failed at this 30 before 30 goal! Maybe one day…
6. Learn how to surf (properly)
I started surfing recently.
And I suck.
Like, fall-over-(almost)-every-time bad.
But it’s fun. It’s different. It’s a good workout (mainly from hauling myself back onto the board every 2 seconds). And you’re out in nature too.
So it’d be sweet to get better at the sport before 30!
Update: I can now (sort of) surf! I’m very bad at it, but I can stand up (most of the time) and manage the basics.
7. Travel through Europe
After 12+ months of COVID chaos, the travel industry seems like it’s on the verge, possibly, fingers crossed, of starting to open up again.
It’s an exciting time.
My girlfriend and I are currently in the UK, with very itchy feet after being cooped up in one spot for so long, and exploring mainland Europe is at the top of our agenda.
Update: COVID chaos continued to scupper our European travel plans last year. The plan is to take our campervan over there in summer 2023!
8. Run an ultramarathon
I’ve just signed up for my first marathon. And, who knows, by the time you read this I may even have finished my first marathon!
Anyway, having never been much of a runner, I’ve caught the bug.
I’m actually enjoying running. I didn’t know that was possible.
But here I am!
And it’s giving me all sorts of stupid ideas about doing an ultramarathon in the future. It’d feel like an achievement to knock it out before 30.
Update: I ran a (very short) ultramarathon on my recent 1000-mile adventure across the UK. It was only 48km, but I’m going to count it!
9. Actually save up some cash
I have a feast or famine relationship with money.
I save up a chunk of it. Then I go travelling.
And then I have no money.
…And then I do it all over again.
That’s been the pattern throughout my twenties so far and it’s just starting to get a bit tiresome! So, in the coming 15 and a bit months, I’m determined to try and turn things around.
Update: Between renovating a van and taking 2 months off work to run across the UK this summer, I totally failed at this one! :’D
10. Take a campervan from the UK to Norway
This particular travel idea’s been burning away in the back of my mind for years now.
Basically, in the UK you can get the ferry over from Newcastle to the Netherlands, from where you can drive right up into Norway.
It just sounds like an epic trip (especially if you could go in a camper) and one I’d love to have a chance to do in the next year or so!
Update: Failed! But there’s always next year…
11. Get a tattoo with my dad
My Dad and I have talked about getting a tattoo together for a while now.
But for a host of reasons (such as deciding the design, me being in a different country all the time, and my dad’s hesitancy to get a tattoo in the first place) we haven’t got around to it yet.
Who knows, maybe me turning 30 could be enough incentive to pull the trigger?
Update: Another fail! I think it’ll happen at some point though and feel no real rush to do it.
12. Travel to Nepal
I know, I know…
Doing a big epic adventure, travelling around Europe, taking a van up through Norway and going to Nepal? All in under 2 years?
It’s definitely ambitious.
But this is a bucket list, right? Isn’t it meant to be a little bit crazy?
And, come on, it’s Nepal! Going there would be a dream come true.
Update: This is another goal that’s still on my bucket list!
13. Keep up my meditation and morning routine
This year I set myself a New Year’s Resolution to meditate every day.
I think I’ve missed 2 days up until this point (it’s now early July at the time of writing), so I’m not doing too badly!
More importantly, I enjoy doing it- especially as part of my wider morning routine.
It’s just a good way to start the day, so I’d love to keep it up indefinitely.
Update: I haven’t done too badly here, but I’ve definitely falled off the wagon recently. Re-reading this is another good push to pick it back up.
14. Read more books
Reading is one of those things I love, but rarely do.
Well, that’s a bit of a fib.
I read most nights. But it’s always before bed, after a long day working. Super tired, I often only get through a few pages and before putting the lights out.
I’d like to change that and read more over the next year and a bit (and beyond).
Update: All things considered, I’d say I’ve managed this one!
15. Start writing a book
Writing a book is another of my major life goals.
And, although I have no idea what I’d write about right now, I can feel myself gearing up to get started.
I don’t expect to finish anything before I turn 30, but it’d be amazing to dip my toes in the water and see what happens.
Update: Funnily enough, the other night I found myself writing the first few paragraphs of a book about my run across the UK. Does that count?
16. Do more stuff that scares me
You have to step outside your comfort zone to become a better person, right?
Or, to put it another way, personal growth usually involves butting heads with fear.
With that in mind, I hope I’ll have the courage to put myself in another situation or two that I find scary before 30 comes around.
Update: This will be an ongoing goal of mine, but I think I’ve done okay in this regard over the last year. Running 1000 miles, renovating a van from scratch with zero experience, and doing a best man speech were each scary in their own ways.
17. Volunteer for something, somewhere
I did a fair bit of volunteering in my early twenties, but it’s been a few years now since I was involved with any charity, organisation, or other worthy cause.
And that fact grates on me sometimes.
I see how much need there is out there and feel guilty that I’m do nothing to contribute! It’d only be a good thing if I could get out there and lend a hand with something in the coming 15 months.
Update: Ughh, still failing miserably here.
18. Do more sociable stuff
As an ambitious workaholic introvert, I find it all too easy to forgo a social life at the moment.
I think to myself, “Can’t I just work on the blog instead?”
But then a few weeks go past and I wonder why no-one’s calling or messaging!
It’s totally my fault and something I’m determined to improve at over the next year or so. From keeping in better contact with loved ones to meeting up more often with close friends, there’s a lot I can do here before I turn 30.
After all, what’s the point in succeeding at anything if no-one’s there to enjoy it with you?
Update: I think I can claim this one, even though I still feel like a hermit most of the time.
19. Get an accountant
I’ve been self-employed for 3+ years now and couldn’t be more thrilled about it.
The control. The freedom over my time. The lack of douchebag bosses.
It’s amazing! The only downside?
I have so little clue as to what I’m doing that I dread the hassle of having to do them.
Yet the alternative is paying someone a few hundred pounds to handle it for me! And that, if I’m honest, doesn’t appeal very much either.
Still, if it means I won’t have to stress out so much each year, then it’s probably something worth doing…at least before I’m 30!
Update: I definitely have not done this and definitely still need to.
20. Go on a coffee detox
I love coffee.
Like, love it.
The taste, the smell, the buzz…it’s the perfect way to start the day and a major help with my writing!
But I have 1 to 2 cups every morning.
And I’m 100% addicted.
I get a bad case of something called “irritable, unfocused man syndrome” whenever I try (or am forced) to go without it. Oh, and a headache.
So it’s probably time for me to break the habit.
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes…
Update: I’ve had 3 coffees today already and probably gone 2 days over the past year without one. Epic fail.
21. See the Northern Lights
I can’t tell you how much I want to see the Northern Lights!
It’s been on my radar for as long as I can remember.
I’ll be a very happy man if, through some stroke of good fortune, I get to see them before I turn 30.
Update: I wish! Still on the bucket list.
22. Explore more of the UK
I’m a naughty traveller.
I love exploring distant lands so much that I’ve totally turned my back on the UK (where I’m from).
However, now that COVID-19 regulations are making overseas trips more challenging and I’m spending more time in the UK than I have for ages, I feel compelled to turn this situation around!
With so many beautiful UK destinations on my doorstep, I’d be a fool not to go and see some before I’m 30.
Update: Tick! My trip across the UK this summer took me through all sorts of places I’d never been before and may never go back to.
23. Get better at swimming
I’ve had it in my head recently that I’d like to do a triathlon at some point.
The only problem(s)?
I don’t like cycling.
And, as much as I do enjoy swimming, I’m awful at it!
I’m ignoring the cycling side of things for now. But I would definitely like to improve my swimming over the next 1 year, 3 months, and 18 days.
Update: This one still needs work!
24. Try housesitting
I’ve always liked the sound of housesitting.
I mean, it’s free accommodation. What’s not to like?!
For all sorts of reasons I’ve never got around to it though. It’d be cool to give it a shot at some point before I’m 30.
Update: I don’t know if it counts, but I’ll be housesitting for my aunt and uncle next week (a month before my 30th!).
25. Make a dent in my student loan
Not gonna lie, paying off my student debt hasn’t been top of my priorities over the last 7 years…
And while I’ve been off gallivanting, the Student Loan Company has been giggling with glee as the interest on it accrues.
I should probably get around to making a dent in it before I’m 30…
Update: As with the rest of my money goals, I’ve failed miserably at this one over the last 12 months.
26. Charge more for my writing services
Question #1: How much is each hour of your time worth?
Question #2: How much money do you actually earn per hour?
Right now, I think my answer to #2 is far less than what I’d say for #1!
So, as someone who values my time above all else, it’d be nice if that changed.
Update: I’ve managed this one, but still want/need to grow my client list!
27. Create and sell a digital product
I think I want to put a course together to help other people grow a blog and make passive income online from it.
It’s been done a million times before.
But most of the courses for sale cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. And, in all honesty, I think they’re overpriced.
I’d try to come in with an affordable alternative that still delivers value.
I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger on it yet. But I’m getting there!
Hopefully, though, at some point before I turn 30, the time will feel right to get cracking.
Update: Fail! It’s in the pipeline though…
28. Ditch the anxiety
I’m bored of getting anxious.
It’s tiring and frustrating and time to let it go.
I’m not sure I can just “decide” to do this; I know it’s going to be a process.
But if I can make any sort of in roads over the next year and a bit, then I’ll consider it a success.
I already feel in more control of things than I have been in the past (not that I’ve ever been that bad, really), so there’s definite hope!
Update: I still get anxious! But maybe not to the same extent, or as often…I think this will be an ongoing battle that ebbs and flows.
29. Cut my hair off?
I put a question mark next to this one because I really don’t know if I want to do it!
I’ve been growing my hair for the last 3 years (with the occasional trim in-between).
It’s now very long. And it looks a bit silly.
But do I really want to chop it off and have a “normal” hairstyle again?
I feel a bit like a samurai.
My long hair’s become part of my identity and I’m not sure I’m ready to part ways with it. I guess I have 15 months left to decide…
Update: I now have short hair! I chopped it off before my run across the UK and haven’t looked back.
30. Spend as much time as possible in nature
Nature’s my happy place.
So I (naturally) want to spend as much of my remaining twenties in it as possible!
Whether that involves camping in the woods, hiking in the mountains, or swimming in the sea, I really don’t mind. I’ll take whatever I can get.
Update: Maybe not as much as possible, but I’ve definitely spent more time in nature this year. Long may that continue!
Why Not Write Your Own 30 Before 30 Bucket List?
Let’s face it, turning 30’s a pretty significant milestone!
So, whether I already feel like an old man or not, it makes sense to maximize my remaining twenties and get some cool stuff done before the big day comes my way.
Are you at a similar age and on the hunt for things to do before 30?
Well, I hope my personal 30 before 30 bucket list has provided some useful ideas/inspiration for you to write one of your own!
Were there any on mine that resonated with you? Drop a comment below to let me know.
And if you’re looking for some general life inspiration, click here.